With tonight's loss, the Clippers complete the first quadrant of the schedule 20-20.  They've won two fewer road games than the three games they've lost at home.  There's game tape to be examined and tea leaves to be read, but the apparent --- if reductive --- truth is that the Clippers are an average basketball team.  They have considerable, if underwhelming, assets [good matchup defenders, rebounding] that are counterbalanced by equally measurable failings [shooting the ball from beyond 16 feet].  When you get a game in which the weaknesses are in plain view without the accompaniment of the strengths, then you're screwed.  And good teams have a tendency to amplify the weaknesses, while attenuating the strengths.  Go figure. Throw in a day-to-day knee injury for Corey [who had Game 20 in the office pool?], a chronic back thing with Kaman, Sam Cassell's knee, and Tim Thomas' hand, and you're looking at a long winter. 

The spacing was embarrassing, as John noted from our seats --- guys overloading the strong side and virtually tripping over each other.  Simple post entry passes were batted away.  All night, the halfcourt defense uncharacteristically broke down at the first sign of penetration from Tony Parker.  All in all, a real miserable thing to have to watch. 

The good news is that I get on a bird in seven hours, so  I'm spared seeing another game until next Wednesday night against Toronto. John So and Portland native son, Jeff Pickett, will take you through the week.

And, no, Yaroslav Korolev was not being showcased for Billy King.